It had been a month since Ara found herself in David's study. No...maybe it just felt like a month. There were no more questions about trust, no more dense silences, and sometimes Arabella felt as though the mutiny had all been a dream. Whoever David was on the S.S Silver Widow, was no longer around. Everyone seemed to get along ok and the although she had expected the idea of equal treatment to be more talk than practice, somehow, it worked and even felt natural. Jabber followed her around the ship and stayed on her head or shoulder during group meetings. Troubles felt like a distant memory. It wasn't until that day....

 

            "Wake up!" A whisper blew into her ear as her vision slowly focused in on Lang's face. She felt his hand shaking her shoulder.

           "What time is it?" She sat up and looked around. No one was in the room except for her and Lang. Distant shouts could be heard from downstairs in the galley.

          "The sun hasn't come up yet but no matter, you'll never guess who we've found!" He grabbed her blanket and pulled it off her.

         "Lang! I'm in my bra!"

         "Congratulations! Now get up!" He said louder and stood before rushing out of the hammock hall. Ara sighed with fatigue as she glanced around for Jabber but the marsupial had apparently been awake already.

        "Aren't they supposed to sleep for nineteen hours a day?" She asked groggily, pulling  on a shirt and grabbing her revolver before climbing out and leaving the room. She stretched as she walked downstairs to the galley where the crew stood in a blob, some folks whispering and some folks shouting.

        "David, why don't you take her pretty blue hat and throw the rest overboard!" Someone said and the rest laughed.

        "We can have Victoria hand her over to the queen and split the bounty!" Another chimed in.

       "What's going on?" Ara yawned and the crew went silent, turning towards her as they noticed her one by one. She walked forward and the crowd parted. She stopped walking and yawned again, rubbing her eyes and looking around at her suddenly nervous looking crew mates. She looked over to David who leaned in the corner of the room, the shadows hiding his face, his arms crossed in dim lamp light. Then she looked down.

       Her eyes were bloodshot and held down by dark bags. Her cheek was swollen and her straight blond hair tangled. She was breathing heavily with a cough every few exhales or so, face down on the wooden floor.

      "Captain?"

      "Arabella."  

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